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described, but which seemed to him specially to favor his designs, and
arrangements were made for having him invested with the regal power by
the Senate. The murmurs and the discontent of the people at the
indications that the time for the realization of their fears was drawing
nigh, became more and more audible, and at length a conspiracy was
formed to put an end to the danger by destroying the ambitious
aspirant's life. Two stern and determined men, Brutus and Cassius, were
the leaders of this conspiracy. They matured their plans, organized
their band of associates, provided themselves secretly with arms, and
when the Senate convened, on the day in which the decisive vote was to
have been passed, Caesar himself presiding, they came up boldly around
him in his presidential chair, and murdered him with their daggers.
Antony, from whom the plans of the conspirators had been kept profoundly
secret, stood by, looking on stupefied and confounded while the deed was
done, but utterly unable to render his friend any protection.
Cleopatra immediately fled from the city and returned to Egypt.
ArsinoŽ had gone away before. Caesar, either taking pity on her
misfortunes, or impelled, perhaps, by the force of public sentiment,
which seemed inclined to take part with her against him, set her at
liberty immediately after the ceremonies of his triumph were over. He
would not, however, allow her to return into Egypt, for fear, probably,
that she might in some way or other be the means of disturbing the
government of Cleopatra. She proceeded, accordingly, into Syria, no
longer as a captive, but still as an exile from her native land. We
shall hereafter learn what became of her there.
Calpurnia mourned the death of her husband with sincere and unaffected
grief. She bore the wrongs which she suffered as a wife with a very
patient and unrepining spirit, and loved her husband with the most
devoted attachment to the end. Nothing can be more affecting than the
proofs of her tender and anxious regard on the night immediately
preceding the assassination. There were certain slight and obscure
indications of danger which her watchful devotion to her husband led her
to observe, though they eluded the notice of all Caesar's other friends,
and they filled her with apprehension and anxiety; and when at length
the bloody body was brought home to her from the senate-house, she was
overwhelmed with grief and despair.
She had no children. She accordingly looked upon Mark Antony as her
nearest friend and protector, and in the confusion and terror which
prevailed the next day in the city, she hastily packed together the
money and other valuables contained in the house, and all her husband's
books and papers, and sent them to Antony for safe keeping.
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